Teachers' fundamental beliefs, commitment to reform, and the quality of pedagogy

Year: 2006

Author: Griffiths, Tom, Gore, Jennifer, Ladwig, James

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Abstract:
This paper draws on data from approximately 350 interviews and 1800 surveys from teachers across NSW to explore their understandings of and commitment to quality teaching (in both the generic sense and in terms of the NSW Quality Teaching model). Our analysis of the data focuses on links between measures of the quality of teachers' pedagogy and their commitment to and understanding of QT, some school characteristics, and teachers' fundamental beliefs about themselves, their work and their students.

Looking first at teachers' commitment to the QT initiative we find while this is important, as is the case with any reform initiative, there is no clear correlation between their expressed support for QT and measures of their performance. Second, no consistent patterns are found between the highest and lowest performances and a school's SES, its proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, or teachers' years of experience. Rather we find that the better practice in line with QT, leading to improved student outcomes, is linked to teachers' deep understanding of QT, teachers' fundamental commitment to their students' learning and belief that their teaching makes a difference, as a basis for their efforts to teach well.

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